Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wally Rhines Interview

Mentor Graphics’ CEO Wally Rhines rarely sits still—except presumably on the Portland-to-San Jose ‘nerd bird’ that is his second home. Mentor’s performance under his leadership reflects his restlessness. Last year Mentor acquired Sierra Design Automation, whose Olympus-SoC place-and-route system bought Mentor a leading position in this market. Also last year Mentor acquired Dynamic Soft Analysis, a provider of thermal analysis software.

In the last 12 months Mentor has introduced their Veloce family of next-generation, hardware-assisted verification platforms; expanded their Questa functional verification product line; and launched TestKompress Xpress (on-chip test pattern compression), Precision RTL Plus (FPGA synthesis) and Expedition Enterprise 2007 and Board Station XE (PCB enterprise-wide design flows). While jousting with Cadence, Synopsys and Magma in the various corners of the EDA market, Mentor has managed to pull ahead in physical verification, design concept-through-verification and printed circuit board design.

In between his plane trips Portable Design managed to catch up with Mentor’s peripatetic CEO to get his take on low-power design, ESL, Catapult C vs. SystemC, the fate of EDA startups, the future of the EDA industry and Mentor’s place in it.

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